Math and Art Final Visualization Project– My own Polyhedron– Omega Star

Here is my submission for my 4th and final Visualization Project for my Math and Art class (Assignment #8), in which my classmates had to assemble our own polyhedra from whatever material we wanted– paper, wire, etc. I’m going to keep this short and sweet for the sake of time, but overall, I had fun with my final project, despite the difficulties and struggles associated with trying to assemble the polyhedra that I did (I wanted to do something different, not simple). I initially had trouble trying to find the “right” polyhedra to assemble, if that makes sense. Though I could have chosen any old polyhedron and gone with it, my ambition and my high expectations led me to look for some truly obscure stellated or mind-boggling polyhedral shapes. I wrote down a list after a few days of searching around as to which polyhedra were my favorites based on their overall aesthetic beauty (subjective), how difficult they were to make (“difficulty” also factored in amount of materials and timescale), and their overall uniqueness in name and properties. My list at its apex was comprised of four relatively unknown polyhedra: the Great Icosahedron, the Small Stellated Dodecahedron, the Hexagonal Bifrustum, and (this will be a mouthful), the Small Dodeciscosidodecahedron, but I ended up ditching these four potential origami polyhedra possibilities when I found out about the Omega Star– a unique polyhedron designed by artist Philip Shen (who is now dead as of 2004– may he rest in peace), that not only sounded like something out of a sci-fi film (Death Star anyone?) or an epic novel, but was just what I was looking for in terms of aesthetics, difficulty, and overall uniqueness and concept (being credited to only one artist and a relatively recent innovation in origami). I looked up some tutorials online and found some great ones on Youtube that were very easy to follow, but instead of using origami paper, I used the closest thing I had at my disposal– colored construction paper found in the depths of my bedroom cabinet, and cut six sheets into equal square pieces 8 in x 8 in long because I wanted the final result to be bigger and not so tiny (though the instructions told me the recommended size was smaller– around 6 in by 6 in– maybe that’s where I went wrong). I chose to cut three black sheets and three reddish sheets because I thought the final model would look very menacing and striking with these colors. Everything was fine up until the point that the tutorials on Youtube told me to assemble the six individual sonobe units I had constructed out of my six sheets of paper in order to form what would later be the Omega Star (being an example of modular multi-sheet origami), in such a way that all the units could fit and be enmeshed with one another. This step in my quest to assemble the Omega Star was by far the most stressful and difficult, as it took me hours to finally figure out how to fold and crease and insert all my individual units together while also holding together the half assembled star together. It was not uncommon for me to witness one of my units falling off other units because I could not hold them together cohesively enough while inserting yet another unit in an open flap or compartment (these problems were 10x worse in my case because of my lack of origami experience). I persevered, however, and after many hours of trial and error, and struggles, I had finally created the unfolded Omega Star. I thought things were going to go great after spending so much time on such a beautiful polyhedron, but things quickly went downhill when the tutorials on Youtube alerted me to the LAST step towards assembling an Omega Star– folding and creasing inwards formerly flat triangular surfaces on the outside of my proto-Omega Star that would then form the sharp stellated edges of the polyhedron. You can imagine my reaction and frustration when I tried to tightly fold every outside triangular “face” into itself towards the center of the polyhedron to form the aforementioned stellated edges– because what happened next infuriated me: due to the material that I was using– construction paper as you recall– and its relative lack of tensile strength when being folded to great extremes, parts and edges of my beautiful Omega Star began to rip and tear apart, much to my dismay. What should have been pointy edges on the Star instead became these all too noticeable holes, and what should have been perfect or nearly perfect folds instead were crumpled half-attempts at folding already thickened paper. Trying for a few more hours to get things right, I realized and accepted that somehow I had made a mistake along the way towards trying to make my Omega Star– and regretted not purchasing Origami paper at the right time and place. In the days that followed before Tuesday classes, I tried in vain to create something else– another polyhedron that did not and would not look as revolting as the Omega Star I had just “created”, and ended up with two feeble tetrahedral crystals that proved to be useless and ultimately, not useful in my project and progress at all. Had the Omega Star actually been created and not halted in its assembly at the very end, it would have looked amazing, and I was planning on calling it “The Star of Flesh” after its reddish black seemingly organic appearance. Below are pictures of my Omega Star and the two Tetrahedra I also created.

My Omega Star-- "The Star of Flesh". It doesn't look THAT bad from a certain angle...right?

My Omega Star– “The Star of Flesh”. It doesn’t look THAT bad from a certain angle…right?

Omega Star with Two Tetrahedrons

Omega Star with Two Tetrahedrons


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